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BIG FEBRUARY JOB GAIN INDICATES NATIONAL ECONOMIC EXPANSION IS ALIVE AND WELL

 PITTSBURGH, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor today released the February unemployment figures for the nation, which again reflect moderate improvement in the nation's job market.
 The national unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage point to 7.0 percent, the lowest rate since November 1991.
 According to Stuart Hoffman, PNC Bank's chief economist, "This is the first solid evidence that the economic expansion is finally impacting new job opportunities." New payroll jobs rose by 365,000, the biggest one-month increase in the last four years, with small gains in manufacturing jobs and larger gains in the services sector and the construction industry, he added.
 The February improvement in the national job market also was reflected in the PNC region, with unemployment rates dropping in Ohio (7.0 to 6.7 percent), Pennsylvania (7.5 to 7.0 percent) and New York (8.5 to 8.0 percent).
 According to Hoffman, the central and western portions of the PNC region are on a par with or out ahead of the national economic expansion. Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and New Jersey continue to lag behind the national expansion.
 From the point of view of the Clinton Administration, Hoffman predicts that the latest figures won't change the administration's plans to go ahead with a small fiscal stimulus. In turn, he also expects both Democrats and Republicans to feel increased pressure to extend the government's spending cutbacks to ensure the calculated deficit reductions from 1994 to 1997.
 According to Hoffman, the recent rally in the bond market is over for now, leading to a partial reversal of the recent interest rate decline. Mortgage rates will remain at attractive levels, although they will inch up slightly over the most recent rates.
 PNC Bank is the 10th-largest banking company in the United States, with $51.4 billion in assets at year-end 1992 and more than 550 community offices throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. PNC Bank's major lines of business include retail banking; corporate banking; investment management and trust; and investment banking.
 PNC Bank Corp. (NYSE: PNC) operates as PNC Bank in most of its Pennsylvania markets and in Kentucky and Ohio. Its Marine Bank in northwestern Pennsylvania; CCNB Bank, Hershey Bank and First Bank and Trust in southcentral Pennsylvania; and Bank of Delaware in Delaware will change their names to PNC Bank by the first quarter of 1994. PNC Bank Corp. is headquartered in Pittsburgh.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/5/93
 /CONTACT: Cindy Jergan of Ketchum Public Relations, 412-456-3584, for PNC Bank/
 (PNC)


CO: U.S. Department of Labor; Bureau of Labor Statistics; PNC Bank;
 PNC Bank Corp. ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: ECO


CD -- PG005 -- 3427 03/05/93 12:02 EST
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Date:Mar 5, 1993
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